“If the animal movement is clear about something, it is its fight against bullfighting. There has to be a very powerful reason why a world current of thought – which has been proving to be an unnecessary current – attacks the world of bullfighting so virulently, which has little social and economic importance in the international context ”. This is one of the axioms that Antonio Purroy (Pamplona, 72 years old), professor of Animal Production at the University of Navarra and a fan of bullfighting, expresses in his book The animal movement, animal production and bullfighting. An ill-fated trilogy, (Ediciones Temple), recently published.
And it continues: “The animalists take advantage of the world-wide fame of bullfighting to spread their ideological thinking, based on equality between men and animals (antispeciesism) and on non-abuse of animals.” “I have the obligation to know the existence of the animal movement”, says Purroy, “because of my profession and my hobby, and I have tried to explain what it consists of, what it intends, what sectors it affects and dismantle the myths and hoaxes that it handles.”
“But the book does not pretend to be an attack against anyone”, insists the professor, “but to explain the foundation of animalism, its great explosion in the 70s of the last century, which arises in the large university campuses, and to argue my disagreements, that focus on the attack on animal production and its importance in the agricultural and livestock sector, and on what affects people, both in obtaining animal products and services, as well as in those that refer to the customs and traditions that they are related to animals ”.
“Animals do not have rights, but they are a legal asset that must be protected”
In Europe, the animal movement was born strongly in the United Kingdom, by the hand of the British psychologist and philosopher Richard Ryder, creator of the term speciesism, to refer to discrimination based on the superiority of one species (the human) over others ( the animals). In 1985 the Alternative for Animal Liberation was created in Spain, the first national abolitionist association and origin of the current ones, including vegans.
Antonio Purroy argues that animals lack rights in the style of human rights because they lack duties, and do not have legal personality, but people do have the obligation to take care of them and not abandon them. “The animal is a legal asset that must be protected,” he clarifies, “and abuse is prosecuted and penalized in our laws.”
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The author of the book critically analyzes veganism (“the spearhead of the animal movement”) and the health problems that, in his opinion, this diet can bring, calls into question “the great world of companion animals (pets) ”, (” Is the humane treatment given to them good or could it be considered animal abuse ?, he wonders, although he agrees that animals can offer great therapeutic and companion services to humans), and defends the production animal, contrary to animalistic postulates, as a fundamental element in the diet of many millions of people.
“Animalism tries to lower the human condition”, maintains Antonio Purroy; “He proposes a revolutionary change and the implantation of a new religion.” “But let’s not fool ourselves,” he continues, “behind this trend there are many economic interests in the production of artificial meat (Bill Gates is one of its main promoters), and they want to convince us that animal meat is harmful to health, which is not true, as it is not true that animals are responsible for global warming ”.
And bullfighting …
Ask. You maintain that animalism is the great enemy of bullfighting.
Answer. Without a doubt, although I think it matters little to them because we are not important in the world context. The annual turnover of the bullfighting business in the eight countries where it is in force, which I have benevolently estimated at around 4,500 million euros, is small change for any tycoon who proclaims the benefits of artificial meat; but they attack it because that is how they get propaganda for their interests.
Purroy stops at what he describes as the “6 hoaxes, 6” of animalism on bullfighting.
In his opinion, the first, the bull does not suffer pain during the fight because the stimuli of the fight activate powerful physiological mechanisms in the animal, and release a very high amount of endorphins, which are substances with a great analgesic power, higher than morphine.
“Animalism tries to lower the human condition and implant a new religion”
The bull does not suffer any mistreatment during its breeding in the field —second—, and its care during its years of life in the pasture is exquisite.
Many animalists are convinced that bulls are not aggressive by nature – third – when it is the ranchers, “great alchemists of bravery”, who have converted the original fierceness into the current attack capacity.
The animal movement proclaims that the bull will not disappear even if there are no celebrations —fourth hoax—, which is a fallacy for Purroy. The fifth hoax refers to the alleged public subsidies that bullfighting receives. The bulls, the author points out, in addition to not posing an economic burden to the public treasury, they contribute 150 million euros in VAT to the State, according to 2019 data, provided by the association of bullfighting businessmen (ANOET).
And the sixth: that bulls are not culture, but torture. “They don’t know what the word torture means,” says Purroy before delving into the matter.
P. Despite all their arguments, the truth is that animalism seems to have more and more sympathizers in our society.
R. That will have to be shown. The supporters of this movement are very hard-working and move very well in the media and on social networks. And the normal citizen, of a kind nature, can come to sympathize with repetitive messages and images taken out of context.
P. Anyway, the bullfighting sector attends impassive in the face of these attacks …
R. It is true that bullfighters defend themselves badly, the explanations are not convincing and there is a deep disunity. Deep down, animalism has it very easy with bulls, and not only because it is a spectacle in which there is blood, and it can be cruel for those who do not know it. If bullfighting ever disappears, it will be the responsibility of bullfighting; and the animalistas would be delighted, or not, because they would run out of a bargain.
P. But do you think that the bullfighting party has a future?
R. I see a lot of young people in the squares, which is a good sign. But the bulls will have the future that all of us who are involved in them want. I don’t think a law prohibits them, no; but they can disappear if the public stops attending. But I think not; bullfighting is very powerful, much more than we think.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.